A Washington Post editorial adopted several claims that the Bush administration has made in defense of its agreement to let a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) manage six U.S. ports, even though those claims are contradicted by the Post's own news reporting. News reports in the Post and The New York Times also cited without challenge the administration claims about the length of the review, even though their own previous reporting directly contradicted the claims.
In reporting on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ports controversy, NBC's Brian Williams failed to inform viewers that Dubai Ports World is owned by the government of Dubai, a member of the UAE. NBC's David Gregory later indicated that the company is state-owned but entirely ignored the significance of this. In doing so, they obscured the source of the controversy surrounding the Bush administration's approval of a deal to grant the company control of six U.S. ports.
In a discussion with Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) regarding income disparity in the United States, Fox News' Neil Cavuto repeatedly claimed that real wages for American workers have increased. In fact, as Frank pointed out, real wages declined in each of the past two years.
On Hannity & Colmes, Manhattan Institute senior fellow John McWhorter claimed that the poverty rate of African-American minors has decreased "ever since 1996," a trend he credited to "the Republican party, who created welfare reform." In fact, according to U.S. government census data, the poverty rate among African-Americans under 18 began decreasing in 1992 and continued to do so until 2002, midway through President Bush's first term.
In detailing the evaluation process the Bush administration purportedly undertook before agreeing to permit a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to manage port terminals in six major U.S. cities, several media outlets reported that the administration approved of the deal only after a thorough review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). But none of the reports noted the glaring inconsistency in the administration's account: that Donald Rumsfeld, a key member of CFIUS, acknowledged in a February 21 press conference that he possessed "minimal information" about the deal because he had "just heard about this over the weekend."
CNN anchors and reporters repeatedly described Dubai Ports World -- the company set to assume control of six U.S. ports -- as an "Arab company" or a "Dubai-based company." However, in describing the company as such, these reporters are ignoring a key factor in the bipartisan controversy surrounding the takeover deal, which is that the company is a state-run business in the United Arab Emirates.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, claimed that the issue of taxes helps Republicans politically. However, the most recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, which was cited during the program's "Political Grapevine" segment and during its newscast, indicates that a plurality of voters believes that Democrats "would do a better job" than Republicans on the issue of taxes.
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly criticized increased gasoline taxes as "secular progressive, social engineering crazy stuff" and declared that "we don't need any more taxes on anything" -- then endorsed a tax on gas-guzzling vehicles.
Fox News' Brian Wilson falsely reported that legislation enacting nearly $40 billion in budget cuts, from programs including federal student loans and Medicaid, "passed along party lines." In fact, 13 Republicans joined all 200 Democrats and one independent in voting against the measure.
Rush Limbaugh claimed a proposal from the United Nations Development Programme to unlock some $7 trillion in wealth worldwide -- unveiled recently at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting -- was intended to "rape" the United States "for $7 trillion."
On Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated radio show, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Kevin Hassett claimed that "workers at Wal-Mart haven't voted to be unionized." In fact, meat cutters at a Wal-Mart store in Texas voted for union representation only to see Wal-Mart eliminate their department less than two weeks later.
John Carlisle, policy director of the National Legal and Policy Center, described the AARP's Senior Community Service Employment Program as a "welfare program masquerading as job training," falsely claiming that the AARP had reported the program's job placement rate to be only 20 percent. But he had previously noted that the AARP had stated the placement rate was higher than 50 percent.
A Washington Post editorial repeated the misleading claim that "Wal-Mart employees, like the employees of other large retailers that employ many low-wage workers, are only slightly more likely to collect Medicaid benefits than the national average." Media Matters for America has previously noted that a larger gap exists for the children of Wal-Mart employees.
Major newspapers and broadcast and cable TV news largely ignored a peaceful religious protest against budget cuts to social programs in which more than 100 people were arrested. A search of the Nexis "major newspapers" database -- which contains 87 newspapers -- turned up only 10 mentions of the event.
Major news outlets ignored President Bush's decision not to attend the once-a-decade White House Conference on Aging, where, according to the Palm Beach Post, he was the target of "a stinging rebuke" and where delegates refused to embrace "the Medicare drug law or Bush's call for private Social Security investment accounts." Outlets focused instead on Bush's speech at a Virginia event designed to promote the Medicare prescription drug benefit.